Are you getting tired of the winter weather, and even looking at the calendar to see how many days until spring puts you in a deep funk? We understand. Cabin fever can be a serious problem during our cold winters.
But there’s no reason your home shouldn’t feel comfortably cozy with its heater running. If you find that your house is stuffy when the heat is on, and you long for some fresh air, what can you do about it? Opening up the windows doesn’t sound like a good solution—it will let ice-cold air gust in. This places extra strain on the heating system trying to fight back. Of course you could turn the heater off … but you don’t want to do that with the house open to the outside.
But we have a way for you to enjoy fresher air in your house without causing chills and running up your heating bill: an energy recovery ventilator.
Pre-Heating Your Fresh Air
This is essentially what an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) does: it allows fresh air to come into your house, but pre-heats it before it reaches the living spaces. It does this without drawing on additional energy. Instead, it recovers the energy already used to heat the air and transfers it to the incoming air.
It works like this: Fresh, but cold, air enters the ventilation system through an outdoor vent. At the same time, the ERV draws in a current of warm, but stale and stuffy, air from the house. These two currents run through a heat exchanger in the ERV, where a process called counter flow heat exchange occurs. The hot indoor air loses its heat as well as moisture to the cooler and drier outdoor air. The fresh outdoor air is now pre-heated before it reaches the house interior, while the stale air is vented to the outside.
This process allows the ERV to recover 80% of the energy used to heat the indoor air in the first place and applies it to the fresh air current. Your home will enjoy fresh air without having to make the furnace or other heating system work overtime.
There’s a Bonus: An ERV Works in Summer As Well
An energy recovery ventilator is truly an indoor air quality device for all seasons. It can use the same process during hot summer weather to help a house enjoy fresh air rather than have the AC circulate the same air endlessly. The warm air from outside now loses its heat to the cool air from indoors, pre-cooling it before it flows into the house. It recovers that same 80% of energy used to cool the air in the first place. It also helps to balance out indoor humidity.
If you’re interested in the installation of an energy recovery ventilator in Plattsburgh, NY or elsewhere in our service area, make an appointment to speak to one of our IAQ experts. We also install the similar heat recovery ventilator, which may be a better fit for your house.
Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. We offer free estimates!